5 Must-Buy Souvenirs During Your Darjeeling Trip
Nestled along the mystic Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling brims with cultural diversity and a plethora of fascinating places to see. It is replete with many phenomenal landmarks such as Mount Kanchenjunga (India’s highest peak), Padmaja Naidu Zoo (the only place in India to house the Siberian Tigers) and the iconic ‘Toy Train’ that has been classified as a World Heritage Site-. However, these visual treats are not the only gifts that the city has in store for you! It abounds with quite a few commodities that can easily be found in Darjeeling’s popular shopping arcades such as Chowk Bazar, Chowrasta, Nehru Road and Mahakal Market. So, if you are planning your next holiday in Darjeeling, here is a list of 5 things that must be a part of any shopaholic’s bucket list.
Exquisitely carved, these colourful masks come in all shapes and sizes! They are arduously handcrafted by the local craftsmen. They may portray angels & demons as well as animals. Intriguingly, while these masks may look devilish and scary, their whole purpose is to ward off any evil spirits or negative energies. Another interesting thing about these masks is that the colours used in painting them also has a different connotation. For instance, while ‘yellow’ connotes wisdom, ‘red’ stands for spirituality. These masks are not only attractive gift items, but also great to mound at the entrance of your house to keep negativity at bay.
Intricately designed with numerous precious and semi-precious jewels, the boulevards of Darjeeling are filled with quite a few shops where you can pick up bewitching jewelry pieces for yourself and your folks. From pocket-friendly oxidized junk jewelry to extravagant necklaces made from coloured beads – there’s an array of options in all shapes, sizes and budgets to choose from.
Thangkas or Tibetan wall paintings are a must for all those who are art lovers. These paintings are usually done on the surface of a cotton or silk cloth. They usually depict scenes from Buddhist literature. They commonly portray a Buddhist deity or the art of enlightenment. While they may be fragile since they are usually not laminated, they do make for pretty spectacles for otherwise drab walls.
A collector’s delight, these robust commodities are pretty useful items to take back home. Be it baskets to de-clutter your study table or flower baskets that adorn the interiors of your living room – these items can be used in myriad ways. Moreover, they are pocket-friendly, light and easy to carry back home. If you are a local resident of Darjeeling, then you can also purchase bamboo furniture, place it in your porch and enjoy the evening breeze every day.
Bidding adieu to Darjeeling without purchasing the world famous Darjeeling tea is a grave mistake. In fact, the widely acclaimed Darjeeling tea enjoys the unrivalled status of being numero uno when it comes to being granted the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Indian government. Known for its flavour and fragrance, this tea is carefully cultivated in the duars of Darjeeling. This city is believed to house as many as over 50 varieties of tea. At some places, you can also indulge in some tea tasting sessions with tea aficionados to get a glimpse into the various nitty-gritties of tea farming.
So next time you are in Darjeeling, remember to get these must-have souvenirs that will make your trip even more memorable.